Why iPray #4

Feb 22nd 2011

A couple of years ago John Maxwell took his family to the Washington Monument. There was a two hour wait to get on the elevator to go to the top. iPray_web_logo-e1296917119856In his impatience, he walked up to the guy by the elevator and asked, “Is there any way we can make it up any faster? He looked at John and said, “You can go up now, if you’re willing to take the stairs.” I wonder how often we want monumental answers, while only interested in elevator prayers? Ever find yourself looking for the best available gift with the least possible effort.

God calls us to persevere in prayer — last week at Calvary, we called it, P.U.S.H. “pray until something happens!” But perseverance is NOT just God’s way of gathering prayer energy — he wants us to persevere because he wants us to BE with him.

Imagine this — It’s Sunday. You see a silver haired man walking along a deserted beach on the Isle of Patmos. He’s looking for a place to kneel and pray. Like every Lord’s day for decades, he comes to God in prayer. He’s been sent to the Isle of Patmos by Rome as punishment. John’s ministry has been so successful that Rome has rewarded him with solitary confinement on an isolated island. But while Rome intended retribution, God intended reward. Rome thot they had put John where no one would listen…what they didn’t realize was that Heaven is always listening.

As John knelt to pray…the door to heaven was opened. Though he was isolated from people, he prayed his way into the very presence of God. What he saw was stunning. What he heard was even greater still — voices that sounded like trumpets, angels speaking, thunder booming, the living creatures singing a new song, thousands upon thousands and ten’s of thousands worshiping around the throne. The sound of the earth quaking and stars falling…an uncountable multitude from every nation and people group of the world crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.”

I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to have heard what John heard. But what moves me even more is what John didn’t hear. For seven chapters we have non-stop activity and non-stop noise until chapter eight. “There is silence in heaven for and a half an hour. Why? Why did all of heaven stop and listen? READ Revelation 8:1-4.

Why did all of heaven hush to listen? Because someone was praying. We live in a loud world. Over the years I have lived in a loud home. When four kids are competing for attention…their voices often rise to the occassion. And it’s not always easy getting someone’s attention. To find someone who’s willing to turn down the radio, turn off the t.v., get off facebook, set the paper aside, turn the cell phone off and listen can be rare.

I pray because as inconsistent as my prayer life can be at times, I believe God listens. I pray because even though when it comes to preaching on prayer, I at times feel like a tour guide describing a country he has never visited, I believe God loves to listen. What an amazing grace — He loves to listen. That’s why iPray.